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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 February, 2015

Report of the Leader

Revision to Terms and Conditions of Employment - Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1. To provide an update on the progress of negotiations with the trade unions in relation to changes to terms and conditions and to specifically approve changes to the annual leave carry-over arrangements for annual leave.

Recommendations

1. That Cabinet note the recent conclusion of a collective agreement in relation to changes to the Council's Car Mileage Allowance scheme as set out in Appendix A.

 

2. That Cabinet note the agreed extension of the 2011 Collective Agreement as set out in Appendix B which deals with a number of residual single status issues.

 

3. That Cabinet approve changes to the annual leave carry-over arrangements as set out in paragraphs 20-26 of this report.

 

4. That Cabinet note the progress being made in relation to other proposed changes to employment policies and terms and conditions as set out in paragraphs 27 to 31.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To update members on important terms and conditions changes.

 

2. As 1 above.

 

3. To provide additional flexibility to meet service needs.

 

4. To keep members informed of ongoing consultations with the trade unions.

Background

2. Members will be aware of negotiations with the trade unions over the last 12 months in relation to a number of proposed changes to terms and conditions.

 

3. The negotiations have been progressed with the unions in order to contribute to the current budget challenges, to help modernise terms and conditions and also to attend to a number of outstanding issues from the 2011 Single Status Agreement.

 

4. The issues were set out in a report to Cabinet on the 17 November 2014 and included the following elements:

  • The extended protection of essential car user lump sum payments for the remaining essential car users for a further year up until 31 March 2016.
  • The incremental reduction of casual car user rates over the next financial year and then payment in accordance with HMRC rates as from 1 April 2016.
  • The harmonisation of annual leave entitlement for all staff on Single Status / Green    Book conditions of service as from 1 April 2015.
  • The adjustment to the calculation of annual leave pay for term-time only employees in line with ACAS guidance with retrospective effect from 1 January 2015.
  • The removal of payments for telephone allowances for all existing staff.

5. Following consideration of the report on the 17 November 2014 members approved the proposals as a basis for final consultation with the trade unions and gave delegated authority to the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader to finalise negotiations with the trade unions.

Details of collective agreements reached

6. As result of the above approval and continuing discussions with the trade unions, the negotiations have now been successfully concluded.

 

7. Two separate agreements were signed by the recognised trade unions on the 8 January 2015 following a period of consultation with relevant employees and, in the case of the car mileage allowances, a trade union consultative ballot.

 

8. A copy of the car mileage collective agreement is set out in Appendix A and, as indicated will be implemented from 1 April 2015. 

 

9. The changes will mean the protection of remaining essential car user rates up to 31 March 2016, the removal of the top casual mileage band (1200 to 1450 cc) from 1 April 2015 and the payment of all mileage in line with HMRC rates from 1 April 2016.

 

10. Members will note that alongside the changes to the car mileage allowance scheme, work will continue to explore the setting up of a car pool scheme to mitigate any service related implications.

 

11. Based on the profile of existing car users the above collective agreement will achieve savings of approximately £360k per annum from 2016/17 onwards.

 

12. A copy of the signed extension of the 2011 Single Status Agreement is set out in Appendix B which, in most part will be implemented from 1st April 2015.

 

13. The agreement will ensure the removal of inconsistencies in relation to annual leave for Single Status/Green Book staff, both in terms of the basic leave entitlement and the way it is calculated for term-time only staff.

 

14. All such staff will now receive basic leave entitlement in accordance with the following table:

 


 PROPOSED PROVISIONS 
Single Status/Green Book Grade A to F 25 30
Single Status/Green Book Grade G to K 27 32
NOTE: the entitlement for part time staff will be on a pro-rata basis
15. The agreed revisions to annual leave will result in an increase in leave entitlement for approximately 150 catering employees and a reduction in entitlement for approximately 30 former South Glamorgan County employees.

 

16. The adjustment to the calculation of paid annual leave for term-time only employees has been implemented with retrospective effect from 1 January 2015 and will affect approximately 1800 employees.

 

17. Of the above employees some 450 will suffer a salary reduction and the remainder a salary increase. Salary protection will be afforded to those staff who are adversely affected up to 31 December 2015.

 

18. The overall net costs of the changes to annual leave will be approximately £300k per annum.

 

19. The agreed cessation of telephone allowances will also take effect from 1st April 2015 and will achieve modest savings of approximately £3k per annum.

 

 

Extension of Annual Leave Carry-Over Arrangements

20.  A related aspect of the above discussions (albeit not in the collective agreement) has been the current provisions in relation to annual leave carry-over for employees.

 

21. Members will be aware that the current provisions allow the facility for employees to carry-over up to five days annual leave from one leave year to another subject to the approval of their manager. If agreed such leave has then needed to be used within two months of the following leave year.

 

22. The current provisions have been seen as increasingly inflexible over recent years, both from the point of view of the manager's ability to accommodate the build-up of untaken leave and ensure service delivery and also the employee's ability to take such leave within the confines of the scheme.

 

23. It is proposed therefore to extend the facility from the 1 April 2015 onwards to include the ability for employees to carry-over up to 5 days leave (as a basic entitlement) and then up to a further 5 days subject to the approval of managers and the exigencies of the service. It is further proposed that all such leave carried over can be used within the whole period of the following leave year.

 

24. The proposals as set out above would complement the changes to annual leave as set out in the extended Collective Agreement (Appendix B) and would be congruent with the aspiration for increased flexibility of terms and conditions as set out in the Council's Workforce Plan.

 

25. Such provisions would be supported by appropriate guidance for both managers and employees and would need to be managed so that the provisions do not conflict with the requirement for employees to at least use their statutory leave in accordance with the Working Time Regulations.

 

26. Members are asked to consider and, if appropriate approve this proposal in order that the facility can be promoted for launch from 1 April 2015 (the beginning of the annual leave year).

Other aspects of wider framework agreement

27. Members will recall that the terms of the agreements at Appendix A and B (and the proposal as set out in paragraph 23 above) are part of a wider range of issues being discussed with the trade unions and in order to increase employment capacity and flexibility over the coming years.

 

28. Such issues are being progressed as part of the key work of the Council's Change Forum chaired by the Managing Director and involving representatives from the recognised trade unions. Issues for discussion over recent weeks have included:

  • The design and launch of an annual leave purchase scheme.
  • The design and launch of a voluntary reduction in hours scheme.
  • The review of the Council's Management of Attendance Scheme.

29. Discussions in relation to the above issues are progressing well and it is hoped that agreed proposals will be tabled at a forthcoming Cabinet meeting. This will be important if such schemes and revised policies are to be launched as soon as possible within the next financial year.

 

30. Other issues which are part of the work-plan of the Council's Change Forum include:-

  • The targeted use of voluntary redundancy where this is in tune with business needs.
  • The strengthening of redeployment/outplacement support for staff at risk of redundancy.
  • The review and design of other policies to meet the needs of our future workforce, 
  • to help focus on performance and deal more effectively (and at greater speed) with conflict and grievance).
  • The development of a staff engagement strategy to support the "reshaping services" agenda and help build a new employment contract to meet future service needs.

31. Discussions in relation to the above issues are also progressing well. Cabinet members will be kept informed of progress over the coming months.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

32. The financial implications of the signed collective agreements were set out in the report to Cabinet on the 17 November 2014 and are referenced in paragraphs 11, 18 and 19 of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

33. Any reduction in mileage as a result of the signed collective agreement will contribute to the Council's sustainability and environmental objectives.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

34. The proposals by their nature have legal implications, in particular employment law implications. The terms of the signed collective agreements will be imported into the individual employment contracts of affected employees and, as such will serve to amend all relevant pre-existing terms.

Crime and Disorder Implications

35. There are no crime and disorder implications directly arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

36. The terms set out in the signed collective agreements will help contribute to the equal treatment of all staff affected and are based on established single status principles. Such terms have been subject to an equality impact assessment.

Corporate/Service Objectives

37. The issues within this report seek to support the delivery of service objectives set out in the Corporate Plan 2013/17 and individual service plans.

Policy Framework and Budget

38. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

39. The recognised Trade Unions have been consulted and are signatories to the collective agreements. The outcome of the agreements will be communicated to employees via letter, core brief and StaffNet as appropriate.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

40. Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Cabinet Report 17th November 2014.

 

 

Contact Officer:  Reuben Bergman, Head of Human Resources

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Employment Lawyer

Operational Manager - Human Resources

 

Responsible Officer: Sian Davies, Managing Director

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